OPPORTUNISTS OF THE WILD

GENRE: PROSE
PAGINATION: 128
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2012
PUBLISHER: NOBLEDIV LIMITED
REVIEWER: ADENIYI TAIWO KUNNU
BOOK TITLE: ECHOES FROM THE JUNGLE
AUTHOR: DR. CHUKWUNYERE CHUKWU (FCIA)

OPPORTUNISTS OF THE WILD

When George Orwell gave the world his masterpiece entitled Animal Farm, one may perhaps have thought it was the verdict in intricate allegorical representation, but Echoes From The Jungle seems to have carved a novel niche for itself in respect of such fictional expressions. In five chapters, Dr. Chukwunyere Chukwu presents to readers a world that first exists of its own accord and at another juncture takes a cue from the world of men.

The properly segmented creative fiction pitches animals in the wild against one another, but goes an extent more by ensuring that fauna and flora are in parallel relationship, such that flora takes precedence over fauna, and as such the latter seeks ways to un-seat the former.
Echoes from the Jungle examines one issue before the other, unveiling how a mountain emerges from the mole hill of wanton debauchery, oppression, neglect, power tussle and desperation. In the wild from where the echo resounds, Iroko sits as the leader of the pack, surprisingly leading every other animal in a forest where no other flora gets a mention, whereas certain animals stay loyal to the tree so as to help consolidate power.   

The author gives an idea of the personality of the Tree on page one thus:
“Whose ideas shall stand? Whose ideas shall become supreme in the kingdom? Who says a tree cannot walk?”
One noticeable vice is pride. When a figure expresses itself in the manner that Tree has done, one could easily suggests that imminent fall will definitely be occasioned by pride. A leader that claims to have monopoly of knowledge will in no time have no one to bear rule over. The last of his expression queries the reality of his conscious stationary status. It is obvious that Tree realizes “the but” in who he is, but pride seems to have exposed his unenviable flaw further.
Tree represents the many that are privileged to bear rule over others, and sooner had they entered office than they begin to consolidate the position in power without first justifying the original purpose for which they came into office. The thirst to consolidate power is so much for Tree, that he employs the services of Python – his Chief Security Officer. On a denotative level, the snake is an animal, but in this instance, it represents every imaginable deceit and viciousness that one could ever think of.

In Echoes From The Jungle, the expected reverberations from the carnivorous king of the wild – Lion – is stifled by the killer machine set in motion by the Tree. It becomes obvious from the foregoing, that the power-drunk but incompetent Tree has worked his way to the helm, trampling as he deems fit on the slightest opposition. This juncture unarguably reflects the Nigerian situation, where time and again, there has been a demonstration of crass incompetence by the ruling class and to cement their place for pecuniary passion, every foreseeable opposition is made to immediately go with the wind.

The same way there are factions in human society; similar segmentations are evident in this fictive piece. Cock, Hen, Parrot, Monkey, Scorpion and Zebra form a favourable quorum for Lion; whereas, Python, Cat and Beetle amongst a few others hold their questionable allegiance aloft to support the cause of Tree’s antics. This reminds one of the sudden ascend to power of Napoleon and Snowball following the forceful exit of Mr. Jones, the former drunk owner in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Sooner had the human owner seen the exit than bestial inhumanity to fellow beasts resonates.
There are issues which follow the distrust of the people against their leaders, culminating in the clandestine meetings held and strategies employed to wrestle the kingdom back unto the other animals, as led by Lion. What is to be seen is the level of division, scheming and back-stabbing. The truism in the fact, that absolute power corrupts absolutely finds abode in this work

Beetle and Lizard are also amongst the composition of a kingdom that is in dire need of salvation from the gripping jaws of a well-grounded Iroko. The Beetle no doubt feels empathetic towards the plight of other animals but it still remains the stooge of Iroko, because he has his eyes and nose everywhere for him.
Chapter one extensively considers political antagonism where enemies and enemies as friends align or do otherwise all in a bid to strengthen allegiances. Power is at the center of it all; such thirst that cannot be easily quenched. The hopes of the ‘populace of the wild’ are shattered because those who should see to their welfare busy themselves with remaining in power.

In chapters two and three, assassination takes its toll as state machinery is engaged to get rid of any opposition. The most hit is the cockerel and his wife Hen, who lose their chicks; but the hunter becomes the hunted when Python gets killed in the wildfire of his cold-blooded extermination. These animals are complete representations and denotations of desperations that pervade the nation’s political space.
Chapters four and five rounds off the intrigues which have steered the Wild in which the tussle and struggle have been taking place. It is notable to state, that in the midst of this, the media also suffers because a ban is in effect to gag the hitherto unbridled flow of information amongst the citizenry.


Dr. Chukwunyere Chukwu has, through Echoes From The Jungle unveiled the complexities cum intricacies emanating from the ever continuous jostle for political office, which, perhaps unknown to the occupants always outlive them. It is then instructive, that every man or woman owes the world The Legacy of Altruistic Bequeathing, especially in making lives better should the opportunity of serving fellow humans presents itself.  

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